Citing its potential to create a huge traffic backlog in the heart of Fayetteville, Commissioner Steve Brown wants GDOT to reconsider their longstanding plans to widen McDonough Road. At Thursday night’s County Board of Commissioners meeting, he asked for support for his resolution calling on GDOT to cease the project.
“I’m just beset with anxiety related to this project,” Brown said. “I have watched one county after the next get into a situation where they got themselves into a traffic gridlock situation and they could not get out of it.”
GDOT’s goal with the road project is to increase capacity and speed and ease traffic flow off of I-75, with an estimated 51,700 vehicles on the road per day by 2032.
“I don’t know where we’re going to put them. I don’t know how we’re going to move them around.”
The project has been in talks since 2006 and is currently scheduled for construction in 2022.
“I think, as a measure to protect the interests and see what happens, that we ask them not pursue the widening and increasing capacity and speed enhancements in Fayette County. If it warrants it at any time in the future they can always do it,” he said. “I think if we can hold off on this, we will keep the path of least resistance from being directly through Fayette County.”
Chairman Eric Maxwell said he would not be eager to vote one way or the other, as he had a meeting coming soon with GDOT officials where he could get more information.
Commissioner Randy Ognio, himself a member of the county’s transportation committee, said his group has been in contact with GDOT about the project. He was hesitant to ask them to stop the project because it may have little positive impact.
“Let’s face it, it’s GDOT, and if they want to widen it, they’re going to widen it. We can say we’re not for it and then not have any input if it happens, or we can try to work with them and try to get something to make traffic go away from the center of Fayetteville,” he said. “The only way we can do that is to have open conversations with them.”
The resolution has been tabled to the May 10 commissioners meeting to allow time for Maxwell to meet with state officials and the county’s transportation committee to discuss it at their next meeting.